What Causes Delays With NSFAS Applications

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Funding from the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (Nsfas) help millions of South African students achieve their post-school academic goals. However, many applicants have faced several challenges with pending applications.

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Tracking the progress of your National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) application regularly is an important step in the process, as you might not always receive updates on your application status.

One of main challenges students experience during the application process are delays in the processing of their application. 

According to the bursary scheme there are several root causes that contribute to application delays. Students have been encouraged to monitor their applications an look out for the various application statuses. 

There are different NSFAS application statuses that a student might encounter as an indication of the progress of their application.

NSFAS says that most delays will be prompted by the following application statuses:

Awaiting Academic Eligibility:

This means applications are being processed daily as NSFAS continues to receive results from institutions.

Awaiting Supporting Documents:

All applications received have been evaluated. These are applications that have been evaluated, however, NSFAS is still waiting for students to provide supporting documents.

For this, students are given 14 days to submit the required documents. Failure to do so within this set period results in the closure of the application

Awaiting Financial Eligibility:

The awaiting financial eligibility numbers are coming from the submitted documents that have gone through the case management indicated above.

The financial eligibility assessment is also based on SARS verification. This process takes between 72-hours to 5 days to receive feedback from SARS.

Provisionally Funded:

This status indicates that the student has been approved for funding, but that NSFAS is still awaiting registration data from the student’s institution, after a student has registered for that academic year.

Therefore, when a student sees this, they should take note that this is a positive outcome and that they have been deemed as qualifying for funding.

Students who are approved for NSFAS Funding are covered for the following:

  • Registration fees
  • Tuition fees

Additional amounts are indicated for accommodation, living allowance, transport and learning materials that are aligned with the approved guidelines.

To find out more about the NSFAS bursary, applications and the latest changes, head to our NSFAS page


Suggested Article:


Although the National Student Financial Aid Scheme has officially confirmed that it is no longer accepting applications for the 2023 academic year, there remains a group of applicants who are yet to receive tangible feedback regarding the outcome of their applications.

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